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19th EURADOS Webinar: Calculation of Radiation Exposure at Aviation Altitudes in Case of Solar Particle Events

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Webinar WG11 SPE

Online event
Starting time: 14:00 CEST



Cosmic rays, i.e., protons and atomic nuclei with high energy from astrophysical origin, are the dominant producers of enhanced radiation doses at aircraft altitudes. While the assessment of dose rates produced by the permanent galactic cosmic ray (GCR) component is well-established and operational, the evaluation of the sporadic solar cosmic ray (SCR) contribution during so-called Ground-Level Enhancements (GLEs) is an issue of current research. Several institutions developed codes for the assessment of solar radiation doses at flight altitudes. EURADOS Working Group WG11 conducted a study comparing route doses and dose rates at flight altitudes during two selected GLEs as calculated by means of nine computer codes. For GLE42 (29 September 1989) pre-defined solar particle characteristics were provided to the participants of the study. In contrast, for GLE69 (20 January 2005) the participants were asked to define the proton characteristics on their own based on published information made available to them.

In the study it was found that GCR route doses show a standard deviation from the median consistent with the results published in the earlier EURADOS report on GCR exposure. For GLE42 a standard deviation from the median of about 30% is obtained for the SCR route doses, while for GLE69 the standard deviation from the respective median amounts to 50%. The lowest and the highest SCR route doses obtained by the different codes for a given flight may differ by up to a factor of 10. One of the main reasons for the differences in the computed results is found to be the unequal identification and handling of the GLE characteristics, such as energy spectrum and directional distribution. Therefore, we strongly suggest developing a traceable method to identify and handle the solar particle characteristics during GLEs. Furthermore, we see an urgent need to validate codes used for dose assessment of radiation exposure due to solar particle events by in-flight measurements.

The results of this study and further detailed information were published in an EURADOS report which is available under



This webinar is organised by EURADOS WG11 "High energy radiation fields"

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Marco Caresana

Marco Caresana graduated in physics at the University of Pavia in 1989. In 1991 he started working at the Department of Nuclear Engineering of the Polytechnic of Milan. His main research activities are in the fields of radiation measurements with particular focus on developing innovative instrumentation for personal and ambient dosimetry in mixed and pulsed radiation fields around high-energy accelerators. Since 2015 he is associate professor at the Department of Energy of the Polytechnic of Milan. He is the scientific director of the Radiation Metrology laboratory of the Politecnico di Milano. Marco is Chair of the EURADOS WG11 since 2018.

Peter Beck
Seibersdorf Laboratories, Tech Campus Seibersdorf, Austria

DI Dr. Peter Beck is Head of Radiation Protection Dosimetry at Seibersdorf Laboratories in Austria. Since the 1990s, he has supported to establish the field of flight dosimetry in Austria and in Europe and has played a major role in shaping it. With numerous TEPC measurements onboard aircraft and Monte Carlo simulations of the radiation environment at flight altitudes, he has established the scientific and technical basis for a flight dosimetry service for worldwide airline customers, the European Space Agency, ESA, as well as for the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO.

Erwin O. Flückiger
University of Bern - Physikalisches Institut / HFSJG

Erwin Flückiger, born in 1943, is a retired physics professor specializing in cosmic rays. From 1997 to 2009 he headed the cosmic ray research group at the Physikalisches Institut of the University of Bern, Switzerland. For ten years he also acted as the Director, and from 2010 to 2016 as the President of the “International Foundation High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat”.
Erwin’s scientific work covers a broad field of topics, e.g. the acceleration of particles at and near the Sun, the propagation of solar cosmic rays in the interplanetary and near-Earth space, solar-terrestrial phenomena, and space weather. He played a key role in the first detection of the presence of solar neutrons near Earth by ground-based detectors, and in the development of novel methods for the analysis of galactic cosmic ray variations and solar cosmic ray events during geomagnetically active time periods. He also participated in the design of new types of neutron detectors with a broad cross-disciplinary perspective of applications.
Erwin Flückiger, who is a long-time member of EURADOS Working Group 11, has been serving the scientific community in numerous ways, e.g. as coordinator of international research projects, reviewer, and expert activity. From 2005 to 2014 he was a member of the IUPAP C4 Commission of Astroparticle Physics, where he served as vice president during his last term there.

Rolf Bütikofer

Dr. Rolf Bütikofer, born 1959, studied physics at the University of Bern/Switzerland. Dr. phil. nat. in the field of cosmic radiation. Since 1993 staff member at the Institute of Physics, University of Bern, in the field of cosmic rays. Research interests: Variation of cosmic rays near Earth, especially during solar cosmic ray events.

Karl-Ludwig Klein
Paris Observatory, LESIA and Nancay Radio Observatory, France

Dr. Karl-Ludwig Klein is researcher in solar physics with special interest in solar activity and solar energetic particles. He is the scientific head of solar observing services at Paris Observatory and especially of cosmic ray monitoring with the neutron monitors at Kerguelen Island and Terre Adelie, which are hosted by the French Polar Institute IPEV.

Marcin Latocha
Seibersdorf Laboratories, Tech Campus Seibersdorf, Austria

DI Dr. Marcin Latocha is a physicist with strong IT affinity working in the field of radiation protection dosimetry at Seibersdorf Laboratories in Austria, where he currently heads the aircrew dosimetry service. During his 20 years of experience, he has performed numerous measurements of cosmic radiation on-board aircraft, participated in developments of radiation detectors for astronauts/flying personnel, and performed plentiful numerical simulations of radiation transport and its interaction with matter using various Monte Carlo tools. He is the main developer of the AVIDOS computational model for real-time assessment of radiation dose at flight altitudes due to galactic cosmic radiation and solar energetic particle events.

Jean-François Bottollier-Depois

PhD in nuclear physics, speciality instrumentation and measurements. Current position: Deputy Director of Radiological Protection and Health at the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN, France). Background in radiation protection for 30 years, in particular dosimetry research and expertise in various sectors of activity (industry, medicine, aeronautic, space…). Involved in dosimetric system R&D; dosimetric studies and expertise for workers, patients, public; and in case of radiological accident. Member of various organisations: ISO, ICRU, ICRP, EURADOS. Currently Chair of the ISO/TC85/SC2 in charge of elaborating standards for radiation protection.


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